The magical season of Spring has arrived with all its rejuvenating beauty of pretty flowers, colorful tulips, and fresh newness in the air. Somehow, with the arrival of a new season comes the anticipation of excitement of a fresh start.
And the best part, winter is over!
My favorite part of Spring is more daylight hours and less darkness. Waking up when the sun is shining bright and your body feels more light climbing out of bed. I admit I’m not motivated by gray skies. Spring allows us to have more time to get outdoors and enjoy the weather. The benefits are endless:
Vitamin D, fresh fruits like strawberries and cherries, floral aromas like jasmine blooming, creativity, mood boosters just to name a few.
So bring on the happy and say goodbye to the blues of winter – remember the best is yet to come – Summertime.
Across the world, March 17th – we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is not just celebrated by the Irish, but also by the Irish at heart. Why do so many Go Green on St. Patrick’s Day, and why is it now an international festival celebrating the Irish culture?
It all started as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, known as the “Apostle Of Ireland”. Patrick was born an aristocrat from a religious Christian family. He wasn’t born on the Emerald Isle as many people think. He was sixteen when he was captured in Wales, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he slaved for six years herding sheep, before escaping to return back to his family. He was 22 when he escaped, walking more than 200 miles before eventually taking a boat across the Irish seas to get to England. It was there he spent years getting close to God. Patrick said he had a dream from God, telling him to return to Ireland and convert the Irish to Christianity.
Patrick eventually settled in France and studied in a monastery under Germaine bishop of Auxerre for the next twelve years. He had another dream, but this time from an angel, with the same message, that he should return to Ireland to preach Christianity. It was during this training period that Patrick realized his calling was to convert pagans to Christianity. It was then, he began to receive many visions that called him back to the land that enslaved him, Ireland.
Patrick was called to Rome in 432 where Pope Celestine gave him his blessing to go forth in his holy mission to Ireland. He arrived back in Ireland in the winter of 432 where he and his followers went to Tara and met with King of Lapghaire. It was then that St. Patrick reached down and plucked a shamrock from the ground and explained to the King that a shamrock represented the trinity. He explained that the shamrock had three leaves much like the trinity had three persons – the father, the son and the holy ghost, The shamrock became the sacred plant of Ireland.
The King was so impressed with St. Patrick that he gave him total freedom to spread Christianity throughout Ireland. St. Patrick went on to convert many Irishman including chief warriors, princesses, and pagans, baptizing them and thousands of others in holy wells that bear his name today. He set up schools, churches, and educated Irishman on Christian rituals. His mission lasted for thirty years and he used the shamrock to show the meaning of the trinity and how the three members of the trinity were separate entities, but yet one in the same. Many pagan rulers of Ireland found Patrick to be convincing and were quickly converted to Christianity.
Oddly enough, the color associated with St. Patrick was blue not green. In fact, in most artwork Patrick will be found wearing blue vestments with gold harps to represent the country. The color green represents Ireland much later, and the name “Emerald Isle” for reference because of the mass of green land and plentiful rainfall.
The shamrock is still a popular Irish symbol, but its a harp that appears on gravestones and manuscripts.
Some interesting facts about the Irish
- there are more Irish living in the US than Ireland.
- 34 million American have Irish ancestry, by contrast 4.2 million people live in Ireland today.
- the Irish fled the country due to constant trouble and turmoil of irish raiders.
- the Irish were the most harshly treated immigrants to enter the US, forced to build railroads, sold into slavery, and exclusively made up entire troop regiments during the US Civil War. It wasn’t until 1990 that the Irish began to stay in their native country.
- the Irish were not allowed to celebrate St.Patrick’s day in Ireland pubs until 1970. All pubs were closed for religious observance of the holiday. This law was overturned in 1970 when St. Patrick’s Day became a National holiday.
Because of the harsh prejudices against them, the Irish formed and organized themselves politically, by the end of the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day was a large holiday.
The legacy of the Irish are familiar to all Americans, from the folklore tales pot of gold, shamrocks for luck, leprechaun, green, ale’s to the wonderful foods deeply entrenched in Americas culture. Maybe today you will have an Irish dish of corn beef, sausage or sauerkraut.
Regardless of your St. Patrick Day plans, chances are – you will encounter an Irishman. If you read this post – you already did so…
We all have our stories, life lessons, some good, others not. Yet as the stars would have it, these experiences offer a light to our future endeavors, choices and decisions. The struggle is how do we choose healthy paths…
I love the saying “Today’s terror is to tomorrows testimony”. Reminds me there is hope in every hard lesson, and mistakes aren’t the end of life as we know it. The value in bad encounters is totally ‘the takeaway’ and perspective and direction.
I’ll be approaching a birthday milestone this year, wow – yes, so I’ve put some thought into my own journey and how I’ve landed here – right now. Ooh, much to ponder when the big 60 is heading straight for you, but that will be another post, a different day. For now, I feel gratitude just to still be here, alive and well. But life is hard at times and the struggle is real, so all the shortcuts are precious
11 Truths Life Has Taught Me
1. Family. The foundation of who we are is influenced by our family. Family provides the framework for our sense of security, confidence, and usually our deepest beliefs. Having people who love you unconditionally is a true blessing, a huge plus in life and nothing compares to this kind of support system and head start. No family is without problems, but neither is any relationship. Family is family, no matter what happens, this is what makes family work.
2. Balance. A little bit of this and that will suffice. Define healthy boundaries for yourself and don’t compromise. Learn to say NO. People who know me respect my boundaries and I theirs. It has become a natural process to have boundaries and limit my negotiations. It’s normal and okay.
3. Grace. Easy to recognize – difficult to explain, because grace has many meanings not so popular in today’s culture. It’s dwells in beauty, eloquence, mercy, charm, kindness, harmony, and divine love. Grace is the authentic original blessing of being alive, the gift of life from God that integrates body, mind and spirit. Every encounter confronts and challenges our limitations of grace.
4. Confidence is a strong voice silent or out loud! Believe in yourself – become your greatest fan. And by all means possible, speak up for what you know your worth, trust me – no one else will do it for you. Learn the difference between confidence and over assertiveness and you’ll attract opportunity and friends. Confidence is a beautiful thing, looks great on all.
5. Passion inspires others to rise up, become excited or at least attract attention and energy. I always figured if you need to do something, give it 100% of the best you and everything else will fall into place. Passion is contagious, fueled by fire and magnetic. It’s easy and it matters.
6. Prayers- wow! Before your feet hit the floor pray. I believe in praying specifically for what I need – so I ask. When I look back on my life and see all the grace I’ve experienced it magnifies answered prayers. In my career years, I flew an average of 350 segments yearly sometimes more, and I survived in one piece. That’s literally a miracle in itself! Knowing there is a God that’s so much bigger than this world makes my faith in prayers a priority.
7. Sunscreen! If I could’ve told my younger self something worthwhile it would’ve been SUNSCREEN PLEASE. The thing is I live in this skin and I took it for granted. Growing up on the beach maintaining a golden tan was just natural, even competitive. How crazy is that reasoning🙃? So now, I get it and I know how important wearing sunscreen is to overall health. Take care of your skin and slather on that sunscreen even on cloudy days.
8. Music rocks. Living in a world without music is unimaginable to me. When I hear certain songs -memories come. Nothing brings me back to a memory as profoundly as a song. Music makes my life better and influences my moods. All kinds of music…
9. Friends are treasures, little blessings sent your way from up above, at least the true friends. I’m not referring to social media friends that you never see or spend actual time doing things together. I’m referring here to friends that are invested in your life, relationships that have withstood the test of time. During my career years and when my sons were young I sacrificed time with girlfriends for family time. Sometimes I got friends confused with work colleagues (as we live we learn). Life just gets busy and there’s only one of us, and that’s okay. There is still time. It’s amazing how fast relationships can build and mature.
10. Nature☀️. For me, the beach is essential, the mountains are extraordinary and being outside is just necessary. I thrive on sunshine and fresh air, not to mention the natural beauty of outdoors. There is nothing as satisfying as watching nature pass through the seasons.
11. Dogs are family. A big deal in our home. The more the merrier! They simply bring joy. Dogs have always been present in my life, horses and cats too. We have 3 Pomeranians and 3 Aussies now, each one diverse in personality and loved deeply. Want more happiness in your life – get a dog!
Life is packed with exciting options and opportunities. There is so much more I could add, but for now we will stop here. I hope you make the time to think about what’s really important to you.
Until then, happy trails
Are you waiting to find a message in a bottle? You are not alone.
A message in a bottle
How many times have you read the best selling book Message in a Bottle written by my favorite author, Nicholas Sparks? Or watched the movie version of the story released back in 1999? Once, twice, or so many times the DVD is worn and scratched?
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can – Nicholas Sparks
In short, it’s a story about a woman who finds a romantic love letter in a bottle washed up on the shore, and she tracks down the man who wrote it. The letter tugs at the heart strings of the woman who finds it and becomes obsessed with the deep love, sadness and struggle the writer describes for his lost wife.
The movie, (filmed mostly here…
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Did you know Seagulls are clever birds? Whether you love them or hate them, these beautiful birds are crafty and highly intelligent. Growing up on the coast I’ve always been intrigued with seagulls. Their aggressive and bold behavior around people seem to contradict their graceful aerial movement and soft water landings.
These fascinating birds initially only hung out by the seaside, river or some type of water resource, but now many urban areas have become home to them. Growing up on the coast hearing the high pitch call of the gulls, integrates into the normal everyday backdrop sound, but it has always seemed strange to hear seagulls in cities far from the coast when I travel. Strange as it may sound, it always warms my heart a little to think my beach friends from home… Followed me.
It turns out Seagulls have separated into two distinct different groups, rural and urban gulls and these seagulls do not mix. They usually stay in the area they are born in, although some urban seagulls do return to the coast to breed, according to Peter Rock, seagull expert. Once the babies are born, the parenting seagulls rotate turns caring for their young, standing guard and providing food for the nest.
Studies estimate over 100,000 seagulls are now nesting on urban cities rooftops where they can protect their young and easily feed from waste landfills and street trash. While the number of gulls heading to the cities is increasing, the coastal gulls are dramatically decreasing.
I love to watch the seagulls on the beach, play out their little tricks. Did you know they stomp the ground with their feet to get the earthworms to surface imitating rainfall? If you get the chance, notice they will repeat many behaviors in unison with each other while communicating to large flocks.
Here’s a few more interesting things about the seagulls:
- Seagulls posses a highly developed range of vocalislation. They also have the ability to communicate with each other through body movement.
- There is estimated to be twenty-nine different species in existence.
- They drink both kinds of water, fresh and salt.
- Seagulls target rocks to drop hard shell food in to break it open to eat.
- They have a small claw halfway up their leg that allows them to sit on ledges without being blown off by high winds.
- If you notice them hovering over bridges, they are conserving energy to prepare to absorb rising heat from hot roadways.
- Their eyesight is better than ours.
- Seagulls can survive in the wild for 10-15 years, but can live up to 30 years in captivity. The oldest recorded seagull was 49 when he died.
- Although they live in colonies that consist of thousands of pairs of birds, they are monogamous to their pair and stay with one mate for life.
- Seagulls remember things and pass it on to other gulls.
- They are covered in white plumage and have black around the wing edges.
- Their wing span is usually 11 to 30 inches and they appear uniform in shape.They have heavy bodies, moderately long limbs and necks with a rounded tail (except for 3 species).
- Eagles and other large birds are the main predator of seagulls.
- Seagulls often steal food from other birds, animals and humans.They eat earthworms, rodents, insects, reptiles, fruit, seeds, amphibians and human food. Occasionally, they eat other birds in their species, cannibalism.
- The seagull is the state bird for Utah because they helped the Mormons settle by eating the excess of crickets in the state. Referred to as “The Miracle of Gulls“.
- They are synonymous with the terms “Freedom, Versatility, and Carefree” in the Native American Culture.
Seagulls are not just beautiful, but an old species. No one knows exactly how far they date back, but most bird enthusiasts agree, that seagulls are among one of the species of birds.
A little birdie told me that it’s known in the circles of ornithologists, wildlife biologists and birders that most experts cringe at the term “Seagull” and say it’s misleading. The experts claim there is no bird species known as technically as “Seagull”, but as simply “Gulls”. The word, sea, got attached to the gull after their behavior demonstrated their devotion to the coastline.
If you enjoy the “Flight of the Seagulls” you’re part of the mass majority, however, if you find the seagulls annoying – maybe this post will help change your mind. I hope so because you’re missing out.
Why do you think the seagull is so popular among all the feathered friends? Is it the mental images of being near the ocean or just simple subliminal perception of coastal familiarity? Whatever the reason, it’s a great one and justified.
What’s your story?
Everyone has one and they’re all different.
Me? If you read my blog page you know I ditched the heels for flipflop & flats, the car for a Jeep and best of all – conference rooms for the beach. Lots of crazy things happen in my story, it took decades to unpack, but I don’t regret my decisions, at least not all of them. This is how I arrived at this chapter today.
The thing about chapters is change. There is always change, teaching us lessons about the yesterdays, last year’s and the tomorrows to come in the horizon. Lessons are just part of the story that moves us down the road to the next chapter. We get to navigate how
long we stay in a chapter before it’s over and who’s the other ppl there with us.
Do you love true stories, memoirs or do you prefer fabricated fictional stories? I’m interested in your thoughts, why? Well you know why, I’m writing stories, short stories and I’m changing chapters, looking for inspiration, direction and feedback. Does anyone still read books anymore? Prefer photo journaling or blog post?
What’s your story? Tell me…you have one.
What does the picture I took below mean to you, anything or nothing?
Happy trails & sign up with me